At a town hall meeting in Lima, Ohio, GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Monday afternoon skewered President Obama’s handling of foreign policy, employing a new comparison of the current-day unrest in the Middle East to the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980.
“I mean, turn on the TV and it reminds you of 1979 Tehran,” Ryan said in response to a question at the town hall, his second in as many days. ”They’re burning our flag in capitals all around the world. … And what is the signal the government is sending to the rest of the world?”
Ryan was born in 1970, meaning he would have been nine years old at the time of the Iran hostage crisis.
Renewing the criticism Republicans have made of Obama in the wake of the attacks earlier this month in Libya and Egypt, Ryan cast Obama as a leader who has weakened the standing of the United States around the globe, in part by overseeing cuts to U.S. defense spending.
“We’re being equivocal on our values,” Ryan said. “We’re being slow to speak for individual rights, for human rights, for democracy. … We’re saying we’re going to gut our national security and our military. That projects weakness. And when you project American weakness … that creates a vacuum. That creates a void.”
Ryan, of course, was among the 174 House Republicans who voted for last year’s bipartisan debt deal, which called for the sweeping cuts to defense and non-defense spending if a special congressional committee was unable to come to agreement on a far-reaching debt-reduction plan.